In case you were wondering…
* Fish and Boat Commission biologists are likely to recommend doing away with the wild brook trout enhancement program.
It was an attempt to grow more large wild brook trout in a handful of streams statewide. It allowed year-round fishing with all kinds of tackle, but all harvest was prohibited.
Waters in the Camp Run watershed in Westmoreland County were in the program, as was Minister Creek in Forest and Warren counties.
It didn’t work, said Leroy Young, director of the commission’s bureau of fisheries.
“Basically it’s because angler use levels are so low, they didn’t really affect size structure,” Young said.
The bureau held its fisheries management staff meeting in February. A recommendation will be made to the commission soon, likely in April, Young said.
* Further proof the “old days” are passing: you can now take a hunter safety course entirely online.
The Game Commission-approved course is open only to those 16 and older. Its curriculum is identical to what’s found in a classroom course. And there are safeguards built into it. It will take a student six to eight hours to complete, with minimum amounts of time required to spent on each of 11 sections; there’s no skipping ahead.
But it can be taken on computer, smartphone, tablet or e-reader.
A number of states already have similar course options. The commission got on board to make thingsd more convenient for would-be hunters, especially adults looking to join the ranks.
It’s all about removing hurdles, said the commission’s hunter education specialist, Andy Hueser.
It’s not free, though. The company that developed the website and administers it charges $19,50 of every student. The commission gets none of that.
It can be found at http://www.hunter-ed.com.
* Here are a couple from the “some people deserve what they get” file.
Rod Burns, one of the Game Commission’s wildlife conservation officers in Armstrong County, recently came across two people who broke the law. That’s not unusual. He runs into criminals at various times.
But these two were even less astute than usual.
In one case, Burns filed multiple charges against one individual, for shooting multiple deer illegally, including a trophy-class 9-point. He might have gotten away with it but for his bragging.
“A picture posted on Facebook showed the individual proudly holding the buck, and when the head was taken from the taxidermist, the tag had Nov. 8 as the date of kill. The picture was posted Nov. 10, but the license wasn’t bought until Nov. 12,” Burns said.
“That was bad enough, but the .22 caliber hole between the eyes left no doubt about this buck’s fate.”
In another case, Burns caught an individual dumping a truckload of trash on a state game land. He was sent back to remove it.
“The story goes downhill from there, as two days later, deputies found the same load of trash at a new location and, this time, the dumper had driven past a ‘closed to motorized vehicles’ sign and dumped it on public-access property,” Burns said.
This time, the man was charged and fined